Venue: by video conference
Councillor Hugh Evans – Denbighshire County Council
Superintendent Simon Williams – North Wales Police
Councillor Carol Marubbi would be late to the meeting
To approve the minutes of the last meeting held on 16 November 2020 (copy enclosed).
The minutes of the Conwy and Denbighshire Public Services Board meeting held on 16 November 2020 were submitted.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 16 November 2020 be received and approved as a correct record.
The Chair will lead on this item (copy enclosed).
Hannah Edwards presented the meeting action tracker and drew the following open actions to the Board’s attention for further consideration/action as appropriate –
· a workshop with Glyndwr University had been held in January 2021 and a follow up workshop would be arranged for June 2021 if possible
· a meeting of the Environmental Resilience Sub Group had been arranged for June 2021. A regional decarbonisation group had been established and work was ongoing to seek further clarification on its remit and linkages with PSBs
· a Mental Health and Well-being Sub Group meeting had been held in April 2021 but further refinement of membership was required together with a review of the lead organisation as Richard Firth had moved roles within PHW. The review had been included as item 7 on the agenda and it was hoped that Teresa Owen, PHW would join the meeting for that item and provide an update
· the Board had previously agreed to invite Alwen Williams, NWEAB to a future meeting to discuss work being undertaken to address digital connectivity. To provide a more comprehensive overview of the situation across Conwy and Denbighshire the Board agreed it would also be useful to include other local connectivity projects as part of that discussion in order to best identify any gaps and future opportunities. Nicola Kneale to progress that action.
RESOLVED that –
(a) progress made on the actions arising from meetings be noted, and
(b) a collective discussion on digital infrastructure to include the work undertaken by the NWEAB and other local connectivity projects be arranged for a future meeting.
The Chair will lead on this verbal item.
Members noted the main matters arising from the minutes of the last meeting –
· Page 6, Item 2 – Glyndwr University – the workshop with Glyndwr University on the PSB’s priorities had been held in January 2021
· Page 12, Item 10 – (bullet point one) the action for partner organisations to provide nominations to sit on the Mental Well-being Priority Project Sub Group would be discussed later in the meeting under agenda item 7
· Page 12, Item 10 – (bullet point two) a meeting of the Supporting Environmental Resilience Sub-Group to revisit the current priorities had been arranged for June 2021. With regard to the regional decarbonisation group, Sarah Schofield provided some background information for the Board explaining that the group had initially been set up by housing associations some eighteen months previously to collaborate on decarbonisation following which local authorities had also been invited to attend. She also offered to provide an update report or any further information if required. There was also some discussion on the work Rhys Horan from the Welsh Government Energy Service was promoting as part of the broader climate change agenda and setting up of a regional group. Given the increasing importance and emphasise on climate change the Board agreed that there would be merit in undertaking some work in order to map the different initiatives and groups working to that agenda and ascertain how the PSB could best add value. Iwan Davies suggested that Rhys Horan would be ideally placed to undertake that work and offered to contact him directly in that regard.
RESOLVED that –
(a) the matters arising and progress from the last meeting be noted, and
(b) Iwan Davies contact Rhys Horan directly regarding the mapping of different initiatives and groups relating to the climate change agenda.
CHAIR AND VICE CHAIR NOMINATIONS
The Chair will lead the discussion on this verbal item to review the Chair and Vice Chair in line with Section 7 of the Terms of Reference.
10.10 am – 10.20 am
The Chair introduced the item to review the Chair and Vice Chair in accordance with the Board’s Terms of Reference.
The Chair advised that she had undertaken the role over the last twelve months but changes to her future working arrangements meant she may not be able to continue. The Board supported the reappointment of the current Chair for a further twelve months if possible and she accepted the role on the proviso that the position may need to be reconsidered pending changes to her future working arrangements. She thanked members for their continued support.
Nominations were also sought for the position of Vice Chair which was vacant following the departure of Judith Greenhalgh as Chief Executive of DCC. It was proposed and seconded that Iwan Davies, Chief Executive of CCBC be appointed Vice Chair. Mr. Davies accepted the appointment. Consequently it was –
RESOLVED that Siân Williams (Natural Resources Wales) and Iwan Davies (Conwy County Borough Council) be appointed Chair and Vice Chair respectively of the PSB for the ensuing year.
Nicola Kneale (DCC) and Fran Lewis (CCBC) to present the annual report 2020/21 for approval (copy enclosed).
10.20 am – 10.30 am
PSB’s draft annual report 2020/21 (previously circulated) was presented for approval. It was a statutory document for submission to the Welsh Government and Office of Wellbeing of Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.
Nicola Kneale provided an overview of the third annual report which covered the impact of the coronavirus pandemic over the last year with a number of PSB Wellbeing Plan actions being put on hold whilst member organisations provided an emergency response. A review of priorities had been carried out and an overview provided of progress made during the year together with ongoing and future actions. She also drew attention to the task ahead in the next twelve months to produce the statutory wellbeing assessment (to be discussed later on the agenda).
RESOLVED that the PSB Annual Report 2020/21 be approved.
[Teresa Owen (PHW) had not yet joined the meeting for agenda item 7 and therefore consideration of the item was deferred to later on the agenda.]
To provide members with an update on the approach and progress to refreshing the assessment (copy enclosed).
10.45 am – 11.15 am
Nicola Kneale presented the report (previously circulated) providing an update on progress to develop the Conwy and Denbighshire Wellbeing Assessment. An update was also provided on the North Wales PSB grant and approval sought for the regional proposals in support of research and engagement.
PSBs were required to prepare and publish a wellbeing assessment every 5 years and a working group had been set up with PSB partners to begin that process. Rapid reviews had been carried out on topic areas together with mapping of any recent engagement, and community engagement activities would take place over the summer to inform the assessment and vice versa. It was proposed that a consultation ready draft would be published in October 2021.
Welsh Government had reinstated the PSB support grant for 2021/22 with £87,273 being made available for the North Wales region. The funding had a clear criteria and it was proposed the grant be used for the collation of research and analysis on themes of regional and sub-regional relevance. Wrexham Glyndwr University had developed a partnership model proposal to support the research and DCC were leading on developing an alternative service delivery model agreement. The North Wales PSB officer group had developed a regional engagement proposal to formalise arrangements to support engagement. Finally reference was made to the benefits of working with the Co-production Network for Wales with an expression of interest submitted by the North Wales PSB officer group in that regard.
The Board thanked officers for the comprehensive report and acknowledged the importance of the wellbeing assessment which would underpin public bodies’ strategic planning for the next few years. During the ensuing debate members highlighted the importance of close working with the Regional Partnership Board (RPB), who were also undertaking a needs assessment, to ensure a fully coordinated approach, and also a focus on the impact of Covid-19 looking forward with regard to longer term lessons. Whilst the link with Glyndwr University was important, there was also a need to understand some of the national research in relation to future developments. In response to the issues raised officers –
· provided assurances regarding the close working with RPB colleagues to ensure the work was integrated and links would be made
· clarified that the RPB undertook a population needs assessment on a similar frequency to PSB’s wellbeing assessment and their work would feed into that – however RPB’s work would particularly focus on client groups whereas PSB’s work was based on more general population and early intervention
· confirmed that when writing the chapters for the wellbeing goals and undertaking analysis of the situation in Conwy and Denbighshire consideration would be given to Covid-19 and drawing on research to speculate on what it was anticipated would happen in the future – however given the situation was ongoing at present any conclusions drawn were speculative and it was hoped that as an active partner, Glyndwr University would help ensure that the conclusions drawn in the assessment would be reviewed as the impact of pandemic became more apparent over the next few months and years.
The Board agreed that the process needed the flexibility to reach conclusions and review them as the situation developed and welcomed the link with Glyndwr University as part of that learning experience which would prove beneficial in that process. The Chair thanked all those involved with the hard work being undertaken to progress the wellbeing assessments during uncertain and challenging times.
RESOLVED that members –
(a) approve the progress made within the project plan for the development of the well-being assessment;
(b) support the North Wales PSB grant submission;
Nicola Kneale (DCC) to present the report on the recommendation for PSBs and the offer from CLES about community wealth building and progressive procurement (copy enclosed).
Link to Appendix 1:
11.15 am – 11.35 am
Nicola Kneale presented the report (previously circulated) on the recommendation for PSBs and the offer from the Centre of Local Economic Strategies (CLES) about community wealth building and progressive procurement.
A link to the report by the Well-being of Future Generations Commissioner’s Office on their review into procuring Well-being in Wales had been provided which included recommendations for both Welsh Government (WG) and public bodies. The Board was asked to consider the report together with the offer of support from CLES for the PSB to participate in a pilot scheme, funded by the WG, to access the expertise and support to explore community wealth building approaches on progressive procurement. A capacity commitment would be required from public bodies’ procurement colleagues to deliver an effective project in line with the funding end date of December 2021 and discussions about the practical arrangements were currently ongoing between colleagues in Conwy and Denbighshire. If the Board were supportive of the scheme it was proposed to report back once the pilot had been completed at the end of the calendar year.
The Board considered the report and there was general support from partner organisations to proceed with the pilot scheme. Some issues to consider arising from the ensuing debate included the national implications of procurement for the larger partners, challenging the WG’s current emphasis on financial value for money and shift towards redefining best value taking into account the wider context and social value with reference made to climate change (including carbon impact through the supply chain), local procurement and community benefits. In responding to the issues raised Nicola Kneale confirmed that she would feedback comments regarding the financial emphasis of procurement to the WG with a view to including that element within the scope of the work, and WG would also be asked to respond to the recommendations from the Commissioner’s Office report. Some of those national issues could be further considered when the results of the pilot were known. She also agreed to ensure the Board was kept informed of developments in scoping the project together with the outcome of pilot scheme. Jo Whitehead considered it a positive step if funding from WG included an acknowledgement that procurements costs could increase as a result of this work.
The Board also felt they would benefit from further information and training regarding the concept of social value and Tom Barham (DVSC) reported upon the experience of the Voluntary Services Councils in North Wales in terms of measuring social value and agreed to provide an awareness session at the next meeting. In closing the debate the Chair reiterated the Board’s support for the pilot project and looked forward to being kept informed of future developments.
RESOLVED that the Board –
(a) confirms it would like to participate in the programme to access the expertise and support to explore community wealth building approaches, with a focus on progressive procurement,
(b) DVSC provide an awareness session on the concept of social value at the next meeting, and
(c) officers responsible for leading on this project to provide an update on progress at a future meeting.
Fran Lewis (CCBC) to present the report to provide members with an overview of the findings and recommendations for PSBs.
11.35 am – 11.55 am
Fran Lewis presented the report (previously circulated) providing an overview of the findings and recommendations for PSBs. A link to the Welsh Parliament Public Accounts Committee report had been provided with the agenda.
The inquiry had been led by the Senedd Public Accounts Committee and focused on the barriers to implementation of the Well-being of Future Generations Act and how it could be successfully implemented in the future. Some members, including the Chair, had been involved in the evidence gathering sessions for the inquiry. The Board was provided with an overview of the fourteen recommendations, which included recommendations 2, 4 and 10 that directly related to PSBs. The next stage was for the Welsh Government to respond to the inquiry’s findings following which a further report thereon would be submitted to the Board. Officers had welcomed some of the recommendations around funding and being able to properly resource the PSB together with the emphasis on the Commissioner’s Office support to the implementation of the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
The Chair had attended the evidence gathering sessions both as a representative of NRW and PSB. She was pleased to note that the recommendations mirrored the conversations at the sessions she had attended, with similar general feedback from all different organisations represented, particularly around levels of support, the direction from the Commissioner and financial constraints and it would be interesting to see the Welsh Government’s response to the report.
RESOLVED that –
(a) the Welsh Parliament Public Accounts Committee report be received and noted, and
(b) a further report be submitted to the Board following the Welsh Government’s response to the inquiry.
MENTAL HEALTH WELL-BEING PRIORITY - REVIEW OF LEAD ORGANISATION
Hannah Edwards, PSB Development Officer to provide a verbal update.
10.30 am – 10.45 am
Apologies had been received from Teresa Owen (PHW) who had been called to an urgent operational meeting. It was agreed to defer the item to the next meeting and for the Chair to discuss the matter directly with Teresa Owen in the interim period.
RESOLVED that the item be deferred to the next meeting.
The Chair will lead on this item (copy enclosed).
11.55 am – 12 noon
A copy of the PSB forward work programme was presented and the following matters were discussed –
· the next meeting on 16 June was a closed workshop session following on from the workshop in January, however Glyndwr University had since indicated they may not be available on that date. The Chair agreed to discuss the matter with Glyndwr University outside of the meeting to consider potential options
· items listed on the forward work programme for the next formal meeting on 15 September were reaffirmed, including the three priority work streams, and the Chair urged those involved in that work to continue to participate, despite other challenges, in order to move those priorities forward. Items agreed earlier on the agenda for inclusion in the forward work programme for September were also reaffirmed including (1) the work being undertaken on digital infrastructure from both the NWEAB perspective and wider overview of local connectivity projects, (2) an update on the regional carbonisation officer group and additional mapping of the different initiatives and groups relating to the climate change agenda, and (3) DVSC to deliver an awareness session on social value
· there was some discussion on the merits of the Board being made aware of the regional recovery work being undertaken by the Regional Coordinating Group, including their priority areas, in order to raise awareness of those activities and potential links for the PSB and where they could add value on a local level. It was considered that this information could either be circulated to Board members as a correspondence paper or included in the workshop session in June – the Chair agreed to consider how best to take the matter forward outside of the meeting depending on Glyndwr University’s availability for the workshop.
RESOLVED that, subject to the above, the work programme be approved.
The Chair thanked everyone for their attendance and contribution.
Meeting concluded at 11.43 am.